What is a refrigerant?
A refrigerant cools or freezes something. A refrigerant called R12 was the most common type used in air conditioning for cars for decades. The Environmental Protection Agency banned it 20 years ago because of concerns over potential harm to the ozone layer. Its replacement, R134A, is now facing a similar fate. The EPA is calling for it to be phased out in vehicles over the next several years in favor of more environmentally friendly substances.
What does it mean to have the AC system charged?
Many drivers have their systems charged because of a leak in a seal or line, or in a major component such as the compressor, condenser or evaporator. Some technicians run colored dye through the system to identify potential trouble spots.
What about the stuff at the local automotive parts store for a DIY charge?
AC charge kits are pretty common. Be careful not to overcharge the system by adding too much refrigerant, which can have the same impact as not having enough of the chemical. Be sure to follow the directions that come with each kit.
What’s the difference between the fresh air and re circulation cycles?
A vehicle’s re-circulation cycle uses already refrigerated air from the cabin and runs it through the air conditioning system once more. While this might seem like a way to get even colder air, it’s a good idea to use your fresh air cycle. Doing so can limit the potential for mold buildup in the system.
Need your car air conditioner fixed? Be sure to bring your car to a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop.
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